Sophomore Players With Massive Breakout Potential
By Ryan Gerrity
- Montee Ball, Denver Broncos
Depending on what happens with free agency and Knowshon Moreno, Ball could become the feature back in the Broncos offense. Last year the Broncos had the most dynamic offense in NFL history and that trend should continue this upcoming year. In the red zone, Montee ball became the main back and he also improved on his pass protecting skills, which allowed him to be on the field more often. Look for Ball to continue to touch the ball with Moreno in Denver or not next year.
2. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are most likely going to split ways with Rashard Mendenhall during the offseason, which allows the Ellington to be the full time back. Ellington last season showed signs the NFL that he can be a true NFL runner, ending with 652 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns last year. Now that he does not have to share carries with anyone, those numbers should rise.
3. Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
Austin had all the hype surrounding him coming out of the draft last year out of West Virginia University. Out of all the rookies, Tavon Austin probably was the rookie that did not live up to his expectations. Do not get me wrong, in weeks 10 and 12 he showed signs of being the unbelievable athlete that he is. Another offseason with Sam Bradford should really help Austin in the offense, I expect him to have a monster sophomore campaign.
4. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings
Patterson of the Minnesota Vikings probably is the most athletic second year player there is in the NFL. He got off to a slow start for his rookie campaign, but proved in the last half of the year that he was a legitimate threat at wide receiver. Not to mention he is very versatile and will be in the special teams next year as well.
5. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
I think DeAndre Hopkins, even before last year started, was going to be the best receiver out of his draft class. Last year he showed glimpses of that with his 52 receptions and over 800 yards receiving. The disappointing statistic is that Hopkins had as many touchdowns catches, as the Texans had wins, 2. If a quarterback gets drafted to the Texans, there will be an improvement on the offensive side of the ball.
6. Marcus Lattimore, San Francisco 49ers
This is the most interesting player in the NFL this upcoming year because he was drafted, but did not play in a single game last year. Before his horrific knee injury, Lattimore was considered the best running back in college football and now he had a full year and a half to rehab his knee. It should be very interesting to see how he fits into the 49ers offense. He has recovered from an ACL injury before, and I would not be surprised if he comes back stronger than ever.